AmpliTube 4 launched – IK Multimedia launch v.4 of their IOS amp sim

Download from iTunes App StoreAmplitube logoIK Multimedia are one of the developers who have consistently made a big push with iOS and they have some pretty impressive iOS music apps in their catalogue, some of which are also available for the Android platform.

AmpliTube is their ‘virtual guitar rig’ app and it was one of the first apps I reviewed for the Music App Blog. The app has been around for a long time and was first launched back in 2010. It has, of course, been through a number of updates since then and IK Multimedia have continued to add new features, support for things like Audiobus and IAA, and a whole range of additional virtual kit available as IAPs.

As I mentioned a few days ago, IK Multimedia have been teasing over the next version of AmpliTube for iOS; AmpliTube 4 with a ‘coming soon’ message. Well, true to their word, the new version has now arrived on the App Store. Existing owners of the app can get the update for free while, for new purchasers, the app is priced at a very reasonable UK£14.99. If you happen to have invested in IAPs for the earlier version, then these will, apparently, work with the new version. All the current IAPs are still available.

AmpliTube 4 - revamped visuals but, more significantly, revamped sound engine.

AmpliTube 4 – revamped visuals but, more significantly, revamped sound engine.

So what’s new in v.4? The key item listed in theApp Store description is enhanced sound quality and the app now uses the same processing algorithms for its modelling as found in the top-end desktop version of AmpliTube. In addition, you can now also add two effects options after the amp stage for additional sonic permutations.

There are a number of further new features that can be added via IAP. For example, the app now includes a virtual ‘cab room’ screen where you can configure your speaker/microphone combination. By default, this is where you pick the cab from those within your virtual kit list. However, with the IAP, you can position the mic and even use a dual mic setup. A further IAP adds a collection of 16 microphones derived from the desktop version of AmpliTube.

The Cab Room - and an optional IAP will expand the possibilities here.

The Cab Room – and an optional IAP will expand the possibilities here.

A further IAP option adds a ‘Looper’ option to the app and, while I haven’t tried this as yet, it looks similar in concept to something like LoopyHD. As lots of guitar players use looping in a live performance (‘jam with yourself’ type of thing) context, this could obviously be a very useful addition to have ‘in house’.

You can now add two effects in the 'post-amp' portion of the signal chain.

You can now add two effects in the ‘post-amp’ portion of the signal chain.

Over and above these changes, the app has had a fairly gentle – but rather pleasing – visual reworking. It is perhaps a little more modern looking but, thankfully (well, I think so anyway) the virtual kit still retains its ‘3D’ visual feel.

While the update gives existing users the key new feature - that improved sound engine - a number of other new options are, essentially, paid upgrades via IAPs.

While the update gives existing users the key new feature – that improved sound engine – a number of other new options are, essentially, paid upgrades via IAPs.

I’ve only spent a little time experimenting with the new version but, so far at least, I have to say I’m suitably impressed. It will be interesting to do so A/B testing alongside the earlier version and alongside the obvious competition (yes, BIAS FX would be the obvious comparison) but, from first impressions, AmpliTube 4 does seem to have taken a step up from the previous version with this update. That will be very welcome to users old and new….

It will be interesting to see if the themed versions of AmpliTube that you can buy as a separate apps (as well as IAPs within the main app) – Orange, Slash, Fender, Jimi Hendrix – get the same ‘engine’ overhaul. Here’s hoping so….

The app now offers a new Looper IAP that some players might find tempting....

The app now offers a new Looper IAP that some players might find tempting….

The approach adopted by IK Multimedia in launching AmpliTube 4 is obviously different from that chosen my Positive Grid in the recent BIAS FX launch. The latter is being sold as a new app while AmpliTube 4 is a free update to existing users. Actually, I think BIAS FX is perhaps ‘more different’ from JamUp Pro than AmpliTube 4 is from AmpliTube 3 so you could argue that this difference is both sensible and justified. And, of course, if you want all the new features of AmpliTube 4, then you do have to do the ‘paid upgrade’ (doh, IAP!) route anyway. This is, I think, also fair enough as it gives IK Multimedia a return on their development work and, while getting a very significant engine overhaul for free, existing users do have to pay for further additional features.

For potential new users, BIAS FX and Mobile POD (with the IAP to unlock it) would be my own personal choices as apps to audition alongside AmpliTube 4. Frankly, however, they all sound way better than their prices suggest they have any right to and I think most iOS using guitar payers would find any of these a pleasure to use. However, if you are a current AmpliTube 3 user then the update is a no-brainer; AmpliTube 4 just sounds better, so go get it….

AmpliTube for iPad



AmpliTube for iPhone




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